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Orchestra Contract Disputes

There is an interesting angle on orchestra contract disputes at the top level. Currently there is one raging in San Francisco where the players insist that they be compensated as well as their peers in Los Angeles. Here it is: it is important when putting forth a goal to be accomplished that you keep your attention directed on the exterior environment. All goals have opponents and they should be selected from outside your own organization. The SF players want to compete (play a game against) the L..A. Phil. As long as they are permitted to play that game they will be relatively content with their home circumstances and conditions. But the minute they are not permitted to compete with the outside world in their own estimation, they will start to select targets/opponents/enemies from within their own ranks–managers, Board members, Music Director, even fellow musicians. It is true that there are differences in cost of living, demographics and philanthropic traditions from city to city and these have to be factored in but the desire to be competitive is a healthy thing and whatever is done to harmonize all this must include an understanding of this dynamic: YOU MUST KEEP YOUR ATTENTION AS AN ORGANIZATION DIRECTED OUTWARD, NOT INWARD. YOUR OPPONENTS MUST NOT BE SELECTED FROM WITHIN YOUR OWN RANKS.

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Paul Polivnick
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